This Week’s Report from Dale
Happy Talk from Bp. Untener doesn’t seem to be impressing the flock:
I was in Alma [Michigan] for the first time since the resignation of Fr. John Hammer. I passed by the Church on Saturday, and saw the first concrete evidence of the scandal: Rev. Hammer’s name had been actually cut out of the sign. It now reads: “_________, Pastor.” A little thing, seemingly, but it brought the reality home in a surprising way.
Sunday Mass was the exclamation point. As has become usual since the birth of our little girl, we tend to arrive just before the start of Mass (or slightly after it begins). Such was the case here: 11:00am Mass, 11:00am arrival. I was especially dreading it because it was very likely that my family was in for a long walk. This is, after all, the only Sunday Mass for two parishes, and is therefore very heavily attended.
Not this time–there was no problem finding parking. Usually, I would have had to park half a block away. Instead, I was able to plant us very near the rear entrance. Upon turning the corner, my wife said “Wow.” My sad rejoinder was “I wonder why….”
A quick survey of the Church after entry confirming the parking evidence–there were about sixty percent of the usual number of people in attendance. The final piece of the puzzle was the announcement of where the parish stood regarding its CSA [Catholic Services Appeal] goal. Last year, St. Mary’s went over its target. This year, it’s at 62%.
Contrary to Bishop Untener’s claims, people at St. Mary’s are mad, and they are registering their disapproval with their feet and wallets. This is happening two weeks after his ballyhooed visit to the parish, and his explanation of his actions (I really haven’t heard more than a brief report, so I don’t know what he said, or was asked). Apparently it didn’t work.
Just another gaping wound in the Body of Christ.
P.S. My daughter’s Madeleine’s “happy hoots and shrieks” caused me to miss the bulk of the homily on the Ascension. I probably should thank her, especially after the opening prayer that thanked God for “his/her love.” I ducked back in from the foyer, and heard Father’s Crossanic reference to “the Jesus Event,” which was then promptly punctuated by one of Maddie’s good-naturedly loud chirps. This gave me the cover to duck back out.
Did I mention that Bishop Untener and his diocese are reliably liberal….?
P.P.S. I think my least favorite Bishop in the whole mess is the Rt. Rev. Mr. McCormack. Say what you will about Law, Hollywood Roger and the rest–Bishop “Odd That I Didn’t Notice That Obvious Man-Boy Love Reference” McCormack redefines obtuseness, taking it to levels undreamed of. I’m not convinced that someone with his impaired judgment should be busing tables, let alone acting as a shepherd of souls.
“His/her love”? Don’t be surprised if an angry mob of Catholics catechized by Bp. Untener turns on him and and burns a question mark on his front lawn.